Victory as new Southsea one-way system is rejected

Netley Road in Southsea, where a proposed one-way system has been turned down
Netley Road in Southsea, where a proposed one-way system has been turned down
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INDEPENDENT traders, businesses and pubs have claimed a victory after plans to install a one-way system were thrown out.

The proposal would have seen Netley Road, in Southsea, become a one-way street, with access from Southsea seafront.

Some residents of Netley Road requested the system after they became fed-up with cars, especially taxis, using the street as a rat-run after Palmerston Road was pedestrianised, then opened northbound in a council U-turn.

However, businesses along Osborne Road and pubs in Netley Road and Auckland Road West – which would have fed the one-way system – raised concerns about their deliveries getting access and blocking the route, plus customers not being able to use short-stay on-street parking.

Jo Butterworth, part-owner of estate agents GD3 Property, on the corner of the road, said: ‘It is a valuable little space, not just for us but for our clients too.

‘To make them drive all the way round is just ridiculous. It would have been a terrible waste of public money.’

Portsmouth City Council held a consultation about the plans, before it went to the cabinet member for traffic and transportation Ken Ellcome for a decision.

At his decision meeting, council officers said that 18 objections had been sent in, as well as nine letters of support. They also said that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service had objected to the plans.

Andre Guedeney, manager of Andre’s, a baguette shop on Osborne Road, made a deputation on behalf of several businesses. He said they were worried about the impact on their businesses, especially on days when events on Southsea Common, such as Victorious festival, bring in seafront road closures.

Among the residents who had written in support of the system was Cheryl Kay.

She said: ‘Since Palmerston Road was opened northbound we have become a rat-run.

‘All I ask is that Netley Road returns to its previous status as a much-loved residential street rather than a dangerous rat-run.’

But Cllr Ellcome rejected the plans. ‘It is clear that the majority of residents and businesses do not want it,’ he said.